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Court Ruling on Independent Expenditures Creates New Risks for Groups

Court Ruling on Independent Expenditures Creates New Risks for Groups

A recent federal district court ruling threw out a long-standing Federal Election Commission independent expenditure donor reporting rule. There are many unanswered questions about the impact and reach of the decision. Some of these questions raise very serious First Amendment concerns about associational and donor privacy.

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NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

In order for civic groups to be effective, Americans must be able to associate with their fellow citizens
privately. People behave differently when they are being watched, and this is especially true when people are monitored by the very government they are trying to reform. The right to privacy is therefore essential to the protection of First Amendment freedoms. To understand the vital relationship between privacy rights and freedom of association, we need only look to the landmark 1958 Supreme Court case, NAACP v. Alabama.

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Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

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First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

Can the government silence speech about an election simply because the speaker is a corporation? Can it deny voters the opportunity to hear a corporation’s views on issues? Forty years ago, the Supreme Court answered no in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

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SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

If one person can speak about a candidate without limit, can Congress ban two, three, or hundreds of people from joining together to do the same? That was the simple question presented in the case SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission. Fortunately, a unanimous 2010 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision said no, such a limit would violate the First Amendment. Americans can now form independent expenditure groups to raise and spend money on campaign speech without limits. Learn more about this important case.

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Latest Updates

State Policy Network: Parker Douglas joins legal team as senior attorney (In the News)

Rio Grande Foundation: Feldman Needs a Fact-Checker (In the News)

World News Group: The Stew: Giving openly (In the News)

Albany Democrat Herald: Editorial: A step toward campaign transparency (In the News)

Washington Post: Political nonprofits must now name many of their donors under federal court ruling after Supreme Court declines to intervene (In the News)

New York Times: Utah Group Files Complaint Against Mia Love Over Fund-Raising (In the News)

The Atlantic: Supreme Court Lets Stand a Decision Requiring ‘Dark Money’ Disclosure (In the News)

Promotions for Three Staffers at the Institute for Free Speech

Fox News: Former FEC chairman Bradley Smith talks campaign finance law (Video) (In the News)

The Hill: Watchdog groups to file complaint against Montana candidate alleging coordination with NRA (In the News)

Fox News: President Trump ‘not going to survive’ testimony by Paul Manafort, former Obama ethics czar predicts (In the News)

National Law Journal: Washington Wrap (In the News)

Washington Post: Is attempting to sway Susan Collins’s vote breaking the law? It’s hard to tell. (In the News)

CNN: GOP Senate candidate’s comments raise questions about potential campaign finance violations (In the News)

Can Free Speech be Progressive? Only if Progressives Speak Freely.

Washington Post: Koch-backed charity must reveal donor list to California officials, appeals panel rules (In the News)

Washington Examiner: The New York Times wants anonymity for the powerful, but no privacy for you (In the News)

Institute for Free Speech Welcomes Senior Attorney Parker Douglas to Legal Team

Bloomberg: How Money Became Speech (In the News)

Court Agrees with IFS, Rejects $18 Million Campaign Finance Fine

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